Getting Your Child Involved in Thanksgiving Prep


Thanksgiving is a fun, great time to bring the family together. A family that has a child with special needs may have a harder time figuring out how to get that child involved. The child may feel left out and unimportant to the task of getting ready for the holiday. With a couple simple accommodations, your child can feel included and more apart of the Thanksgiving prep.

First of all, you want your child to feel important and needed. You want to make them feel valuable. Give them jobs that are meaningful. Whether that is helping with the meal or taking a part with setting the table. Thanksgiving is a big deal and your child being able to say they helped will give them pride. It can also be an awesome conversation starter for a shy child.

An easy way to get your child involved is to let them help make a special dessert. You can create a list and then have your child pick one. For example, if they want to help with making a pumpkin pie, you can have them help stir all the ingredients together. Another great idea is to make cupcakes. This one can really inspire some creativity. They can first help make the actually cupcakes; stirring and being in charge of the cooking timer. Then, they can help decorate. It can be as simple as putting some fun, festive sprinkles on top or a more complicated design. One idea on Pinterest, creates a turkey on top of the cupcake with a mini peanut butter treat as the body and candy corn as the feathers. Your child can help place the various items onto the cupcakes. Just keep in mind food allergies and make sure to accommodate for that. This can be a fun way to get your child involved with the food aspect of Thanksgiving.

Another way to help your child feel involved is with the menu. Let them help make the menu and decide on a dish or two. This is another task that can bring pride to your child. They will love seeing the dishes and know that they were apart of the decision. You can even include them in making the dishes. For example, they can help wash the vegetables. You can even just throw the veggies in a strainer and keep the faucet on and let the child supervise. They also can be in charge of the timer. They can help set it and then let you know when it goes off. If you aren’t hosting Thanksgiving, perhaps you could reach out to the hostess and see what you and your child could make to bring along. Your child will love being involved in this way and will feel a lot of pride.

A festive thing to add to Thanksgiving is decorations. This is the perfect way to involve your child. You can either use projects that your child did at school or make some with them at home. Have them help you come up with ideas and get their opinion on colors or materials. You can even allow the child to decide where they want their decorations displayed. Not only is this cute, but it helps your child feel valuable and needed.

Don’t let your child get left out of Thanksgiving prep. With a little more patience and time, you can find little ways to involve your child and make them feel valued and needed. Children see how much time and effort adults put into Thanksgiving and they want to help and know that you need and want their help. Involving your child can help create pride and it can be a good conversation starter for that child. Children with special needs may have a harder time helping out especially around the holidays, but with these few tips, we hope it can be easier to find ways to involve your child. If you have different ways that you involve your child with Thanksgiving prep, let us know in a comment.

If you have any questions about Cerebral Palsy in general or ways to involve your child during the holidays, feel free to call us at (800) 692-4453 or fill out our contact form on Facebook or our website.